Urban Planner: April 20, 2012
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Urban Planner: April 20, 2012

In today's Urban Planner: roll with the crowd at the Global Marijuana March; check out a building-wide reception for Harbourfront's Spring exhibitions; see Melissa D'Agostino's Italian characters at the Pubaret; and make plans (and back-up plans) to see tonight's many concerts, including Basia Bulat, The Wooden Sky, and Big Sound V.

Singer/Songwriter Basia Bulat's just one of a top-shelf list of local music acts participating in tonight's Newman Brothers benefit concert. Photo by Jenna Wakani.

TOKE: There’ll be a haze of blue smoke over the busiest intersection of the city this afternoon, as pro-marijuana activists occupy Yonge-Dundas Square for the annual 4/20 smoke out to protest pot prohibition, celebrate cannabis culture, and mellow out in a safe environment (providing some numbskull doesn’t show up with a pistol, like at the 2010 rally). There are other 4/20 events happening across the GTA today, such as the venerable Hot Box Cafe 4:20 bash, but the square rally will be the largest, most visible, and most… fragrant. Yonge-Dundas Square (5 Dundas Street East), 12—5 p.m, FREE.

EXHIBITION: The Harbourfront Centre launches its Spring Visual Arts Exhibitions tonight with a huge building-wide reception featuring all six of the exhibits, including 1812–2012: A Contemporary Perspective—an art exhibition where artists are invited to take a look at significant events from our history through a current lens. Some of the exhibiting artists will be participating in a Pecha Kucha (Japanese for “chit chat”) during the reception, and discussing their projects and what’s to come. Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West), 6—10 p.m., FREE.

COMEDY: Character comedienne Melissa D’Agostino is premiering a new solo show tonight entitled Hot Italian Action, featuring some characters she’s culled from her own background; she’s describing it as “Woodbridge meets the Dufferin Mall meets Little Italy in a showdown set to music.” (It’s a one-night-only performance, as stand-up Mae Martin has Saturday and Sunday night booked for her Edinburgh Fringe show preview.) Flying Beaver Pubaret (488 Parliament Street), 7:30 p.m., $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

MUSIC: The hot tickets tonight are The Wooden Sky and Sunparlour Players show at the Opera House (735 Queen Street East, 9 p.m., $15.50), and the Newman Boys benefit show at Lee’s Palace (529 Bloor Street West, 9 p.m., $15). As of press time, though, the first show was sold out, and the second had just a few tickets left at Soundscapes and Rotate This—and with a line-up that includes Basia Bulat, Owen Pallett, Andre Ethier, and more, it will sell out. So here’s our advice:

  • If you can’t get into Lee’s—though you really, really should (in addition to the stellar line-up, the event is also a fundraiser for three boys who recently lost their mother in awful circumstances)—it’s just a couple blocks’ walk to the Tranzac’s homey Southern Cross Lounge. Blues-folk outfit Jehan Khoorshed and La Boom Smash are playing. The Tranzac Club (292 Brunswick Avenue), 10 p.m., FREE.
  • If you’re stymied at the Opera House, despite showing up early, you could hop on the Queen streetcar and head to The Rivoli for the Canary Mine CD release (332 Queen Street West, doors at 9 p.m., $15), or keep going until you get to the sweet Motown strains of Big Sound V. The Great Hall (1087 Queen Street West), 10 p.m., $12.

Urban Planner is Torontoist‘s guide to what’s on in Toronto, published every weekday morning, and in a weekend edition Friday afternoons. If you have an event you’d like considered, email all of its details—as well as images, if you’ve got any—to [email protected].